Clear Mountain Bank donation expands Morgantown homeless shelter - WBOY.com: Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

Clear Mountain Bank donation expands Morgantown homeless shelter

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Clear Mountain Bank donated this 3,800-square foot commercial space adjacent to Bartlett House's current facility on University Avenue in Morgantown is valued at $200,000. Clear Mountain Bank donated this 3,800-square foot commercial space adjacent to Bartlett House's current facility on University Avenue in Morgantown is valued at $200,000.
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Morgantown homeless shelter Bartlett House announced Feb. 7 that it has received a major gift from Clear Mountain Bank. 

The bank has donated the property and building located at 1116 University Avenue in Morgantown. The shelter plans to use the building to expand its housing and support programs for the homeless.

The donated 3,800-square foot commercial space is located on the east side of University Avenue between Pleasant and Moreland streets, adjacent to the current Bartlett House facility.  Open space on the first floor consists of a meeting room and several smaller rooms. The upstairs has been renovated to a two-bedroom apartment, including a kitchen, bath and laundry room. 

The appraised value of the donation is $200,000. 

Clear Mountain Bank initiated contact with Bartlett House after the bank acquired the property in 2011.  Executives at the bank were aware that Bartlett House, downtown Morgantown's only homeless shelter, was in need of additional space to meet the needs of the area's increasing homeless population. 

"It's critical for our community to continue to develop ways to provide services and assistance to the growing homeless population in the Morgantown area," said Clear Mountain Bank President and CEO Brian F. Thomas. 

"Bartlett House offers not only food and shelter for these individuals and families, but also provides the tools and resources needed to help them become self-sufficient," Thomas said. "Our donation will allow Bartlett House to continue to grow and expand the invaluable services it provides to its clients."   

Bartlett House has been located at 1110 University Avenue since 1990.  The facility originally was designed to hold 34 beds. Over time, additional space within the building has been recaptured to meet the increasing demand for beds. The current facility consists of 12,000 square feet and holds up to 81 beds. Cots frequently line the hallway, and staff offices during the day are converted to sleeping areas at night to help meet the demand. 

Clear Mountain's donation will increase the size of the Bartlett House facility from 12,000 square feet to 15,884 square feet.

Last year, Bartlett House served 705 unique individuals, with 158 of those individuals being under the age of twenty-one. Additionally, two-parent families with children represent the facility's fastest growing demographic served. 

All of the organization's programs promote self-sufficiency, requiring clients to address the root causes of their homelessness, obtain income, and maintain health. Bartlett House's success rate, defined as clients successfully exiting the shelter and not returning, has averaged more than 90 percent in the last few years.

"Bartlett House is extremely grateful and appreciative of Clear Mountain Bank's generosity," said shelter Executive Director Keri DeMasi. 

"This gesture will allow our organization to explore the expansion of services and hopefully lessen the stress that our current facility is feeling due to capacity concerns," DeMasi said. "Clear Mountain Bank has repeatedly demonstrated its commitment to this agency and the community that we serve together."